By Val Bourque
With the holidays upon us, there are always a project or two to complete before Christmas. If you need a quick project for a gift why not try a door panel.  This year there seems to be a panel for every holiday.  From the patriotic panels for  4th of July to Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas.  These are quick and easy for any level quilter.  My favorite from a few years ago, is the Christmas tree where you add the twinkling light kit to the panel. Now you can even add a music box to make the panel you made last year play holiday music while the lights glow.
As quilters, we are focused on the ‘giving’ of quilts and homemade items. Except for the occasional fabric buy (just joking, we all buy too much fabric) most of what we purchase is to help us make more gifts for family and friends.  When all the gift giving is complete, you may consider giving to yourself.  This innovative digital design quilter by Electric Quilt Company – known as EQ7 is perfect to plan next year’s projects.
With EQ7, you can design your blocks individually or in groups. You put them together in a quilt of your design, add borders creating a fresh new look to even the most basic of blocks. You can change colors and see what your quilt will look like.  You can even

Quilt patchwork

add the exact fabric by adding a fabric module to the software.  It’s an amazing creative tool.  It is simple to learn. There are numerous tutorials on the EQ website –   And don’t forget YouTube vids by users like yourself.  What level you become proficient is up to you.   It’s pretty much like other software, it takes practice to get good.
The basic software package comes with everything you need to create exciting new digital versions of your anticipated quilts. But the Electric Quilt Company has modules you can add to your library of creativity.  The Baltimore Album has the classic Baltimore themes. There is a module of 1920s and 30’s blocks to the  more modern Kaleidoscope blocks by Karen Stone. You can paper piece, applique or just recreate the blocks from Kansas City Star – the Block Base module includes over 4500 blocks you can add to your design.  Most of you have heard of the Dear Jane quilt made during the Civil War,1863.  The Dear Jane module has all 225 blocks from the simple to the more complex. As a paper pieced project you can design using modern fabrics or any period fabric.
While digital quilting does not replace the real quilting, it does have a place – allowing our creativity to quickly design new projects.  The EQ7 software would make a wonderful edition to your arsenal of quilting accessories giving you unlimited hours of design. It would make a wonderful gift to yourself.  Happy Holidays!
For your free holiday pattern contact Val at :  [email protected]
Val Bourque, former District Sales Manager for Bernina of America an past President of Chester Piecemaker’s Quilt Guild.